Think of the last thing you bought, it may be a book, a gadget, or a pair of shoes. Whatever it may be, it surely went through a complicated distribution process ranging from raw material to finished goods. That process is divided into critical steps, such as manufacturing, distribution, and sales. We call the whole operation the supply chain, and it’s been a key factor in human activities for quite some time now.
So, what’s the supply chain and why does it matter?
As we’ve defined above, the supply chain is the network of all the people, technology and activities involved in the creation and sale of products. These processes are supervised and managed by supply chain managers.
Even if it hadn’t been given a name, it’s been around for longer as anyone can remember, as it’s implicit in customer satisfaction and sales. For example, an agricultural supply chain would have a farmer cutting wheat, sending it to a mill, so it can be transformed into flour, then to a baker who made bread from it, and finally it would be sold in the local market. Thanks to the Industrial Revolution, goods were cheaper, easier and faster to transport, as maritime trade became more efficient.
Eventually, the internal combustion engine was invented and trucks enabled road distribution, which also allowed the implementation of pallets in warehouses, allowing goods to be stacked vertically, saving space and facilitating handling them. Those companies who refused to add new technologies to their supply chain were simply left behind.
As any other technology and solution, supply chain management has not stopped evolving and reinventing itself. As a result, today we can enjoy great improvements, such as:
- Usage of artificial intelligence (AI) to reduce supply chain inefficiencies.
- Focus on real-time risk management.
- Creation of cloud-based software to enable gathering and storage of big data.
- The Internet of things (IoT) enables better control of inventory.
- Robotics improvements frees up time spent on routine tasks.
How to improve the supply chain in your enterprise?
Fortunately, companies have come up with great and easy ways to implement supply chain management solutions for any business. Xborder is one of those well-established organizations that provide cutting-edge technology. Offering services that range from import and export logistics, legal procedures, and customer service to technological tools that improve the quality of your online store. With advantages such as these, your business will get the boost needed to stand out from the competition. For further information, please visit www.xborder.co.